back to article GoPro accused of using DMCA to take down product review

This was supposed to be a great week for extreme camera manufacturer GoPro but instead it has stumbled into a PR nightmare. On Wednesday the Winter X Games kicked off in the French skiing haven of Tignes and with GoPro involved the company was expecting lots of favorable views of its products. Now thanks to the actions of some …


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  1. Tom 35

    Sounds like they asked for it...

    DigitalRev is not an authorized reseller...

    we ask merchants who are selling our product to use authorized images...

    Sounds like they are a bunch of control freaks.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

      Sounds more like they are a bunch of cunts.

      Outrageous behaviour. Hope the twat who sanctioned this gets the gooner... (Colloquialism for "the sack").

      1. Magani

        Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

        Egg, meet face.

        1. Fatman

          Re: Sounds like they asked for it...Egg, meet face.

          No, more like:

          Shit, meet Fan.

      2. Ian Yates

        Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

        On camera, natch

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

      It's far from uncommon for that to occur, apple are the same, even mandating which color of their phones are to be used in shots. Hell even working inside a company the brand management folks go bugshit at you if you get the size of a logo wrong on a presentation or a colour isn't a perfect match when printed. It's just sad little twats who couldn't get a real degree trying to justify their pathetic, meaningless existence.

      However, this has a huge whiff of bollocks about it. The excuse seems to be just that, made up when they realized how much of a mistake they had made trying to get a review they didn't like pulled.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

      Pretty normal supplier behaviour tbh. The brand and placement guidelines you often get from suppliers, particularly in fashion and beauty, but other sectors as well, can be extremely prescriptive. What's particularly galling is that a certain e-commerce site named after a big river tells all these suppliers they can gtf with their brand guidelines and they're big enough to do it. Us smaller fish have to jump through pointless hoops, that add absolutely sweet fa to sales performance.

      Having said all that, GoPro using the DMCA is an areshole move and I don't believe it was a brand compliance issue for one second.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like a "If we get caught story"


    4. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

      It's all gone a bit Ratners!

    5. BillG

      Re: Sounds like they asked for it...

      I do reviews on my main website. Whenever I do a product review I always, always, always use my own photos of the product.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Dave 150

    It's just a good job reg hasn't used an image of the offending camera in this article, or we wouldn't have anything to comment on

  4. corestore



    Fire 'brand manager', admit screwup, beg forgiveness.

  5. rav
    Thumb Down

    Authorised reseller????

    The United States Supreme Court rejects the argument that reselling books and movies is a violation of Copyright. Once a product has been sold to an end user that user has the right to resell.

    So what if DigitalRev is not "authorised". They have an opinion regarding the product and a right to be heard.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: Authorised reseller????

      First Amendment, even...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sue their asses off

    It's another case of a company using DMCA as a weapon to block competition.

    Personally, I do not recognize DMCA and require a court order.

    1. Rebajas
      Big Brother

      Re: Sue their asses off

      This comment might have held some weight if you hadn't posted Anon...

  7. Mark Allread

    What about the review?

    Was it a negative review? They rarely are.

    1. PhilBuk

      Re: What about the review?

      IIRC the Go*ro came out better than the Sony it was reviewed against.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What nonsense

    The whole deal is stupid IMO.

  9. Sport Monkey

    What seems to have been missed

    Does anyone else not want to read this review to see why the brand reacted this way?

    As for brand managers, I can understand them being over the top, it's in opposition to those who do silly things like resize company logos out of aspect.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      "Does anyone else not want to read this review to see why the brand reacted this way?"

      Well you can't.

      It's a bit weird and suspici%us that it's a review of a camera and they're not allowed to take their own pictures. I gather the word is "selfies".

  10. James Hughes 1


    <advert on>

    If El Reg are now so annoyed with GoPro they want to change the LOHAN camera (for something lighter?) the designed/manufactured in UK Raspberry Pi camera will soon be available. 150g ish excluding batteries. Going to be a High altitude balloon flight with it soon as a test. Lens not as good as GoPro though, but at $50 for the Pi and the camera should be a bit cheaper.

    Just a suggestion...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: RaspiCam

      Many apologies, that 150g figure is for the entire payload (Raspi, Camera, radio and all the other electronics + batteries). The Raspi camera itself, plus ribbon cable, is 3.4g

  11. Jon Double Nice

    Maybe GoPro should

    make cameras that don't look stupid mounted in a little clear plastic box on top of your bike helmet. The 'bullet' form factor is shirley the way to go, unless anyone else knows otherwise?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe GoPro should

      hear hear! *rabble rabble rabble*

      ... apologies, watching Parliament budget tomfoolery.

      From a wind resistance, aesthetic and the inevitable post-crash wound licking (reattaching these bricks is annoying) the GoPros suck.

      (Owner of SD GoPro)

      1. fixit_f

        Re: Maybe GoPro should

        One of the main reasons they use the box form factor is so that you can use different mounts and attachment points for different perspectives. On a chest mount in particular the teardrop factor would be a bit odd and if I crashed on it it'd be a smaller thing more likely to break a rib!

        I use mine for kite surfing and snowboarding and I have the choice of chest mount, helmet mount, kite mount or board mount.

    2. Gordon861

      Re: Maybe GoPro should

      I use a ContourHD but they seem to have lost their way recently and now want you to pay for loads of extras like wifi and GPS or limit you to a non-swappable battery.

      All people want is a decent camera with long record times, how complicated can it be?

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Maybe GoPro should

        Or rig your own.

        It's not pretty, but GoPro runtimes = massive. Use one of these:

        And one of these:

        Plug in the USB as normal, and bingo.

  12. Schultz

    Authorized images?

    I'd hope for a review to show me the unauthorized images, the dark side of the product, the dirty innards, ... The official shots are surely available from the manufacturer website and are of no further use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Authorized images?

      Since photos are normally copyrighted by the photographer, rather than the subject, if you're using authorised images GoPro has more right to tell you what you can do with them?

  13. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Man up guys

    Whatever happened to the concept of admitting that you were wrong?

    I run into this every day with almost anyone under about 45 years old - they screw up because they failed to think the situation though and then, instead of fixing the problem, they spend hours "proving" that it wasn't their fault.

    Politicians in training - come back Enoch Powell, all is forgiven.

    1. asdf

      Re: Man up guys

      >I run into this every day with almost anyone under about 45 years old

      Sounds more like people under 30. As for people over 55 I thought due to their greed and mismanagement they were too busy making sure their grand kids don't get the enjoy the same standard of living to notice the younger people they expect to pay for all the entitlements they have given themselves.

  14. Drem

    Odd thing is...

    That it was a comparision between the Go-Pro, and a Sony version that was competing with the Go-Pro.

    The Go-Pro won hands down.

    Really really silly.

    It's all over the cycling forum I frequent, where the Go-Pro had been favoured over the Contour cams, but this is shifting some opinions...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was skiing in Morzine last week

    But I'm not good enough to justify using a GoPro. I did notice a group of guys in one bar with big cardboard mock-up GoPros on their heads and slogans on their tops taking the piss out of GoPro users.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You don't have to be authorised to sell some products.

    You don't have to use authorised pictures unless you enter some contract as an authorised reseller.

    You don't infringe trademarks by mentioning or review a product.

    You don't infringe trademarks by photographing a product yourself for review purposes.

    You can't use the DCMA in a trademark dispute.

    GoPro clearly stated it was due to the use of the terms "GOPRO" or "HERO" in this context.

    GoPro clearly stated the page that they wanted taking down.

    GoPro contacted the ISP to demand the takedown and did not speak to Digitalrev.

    They were wrong before, and the poor guy who had to stay up all night to write the very poor spin statement (has he officially recalled the DCMA takedown?) has no sympathy.

    Way to go to alienate your brand.

    1. User McUser

      Re: authorised?

      "You can't use the DCMA in a trademark dispute."

      I would think not. The Defense Contract Management Agency has plenty to do already!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are GoPro going to trawl every page on e-bay, craiglist etc asking for the listings of GoPro to be taken off as the sellers are showing pictures of their products and writing GoPro in the title and text?

  18. stu 4

    Sticking up for Gopro a bit

    On the other hand - building a well respected and well known brand is a black art.

    and the littlest thing can start to undermine it.

    Gopro is perfectly in its rights to choose who is allowed to sell their products as 'official' resellers - apple does the same, so do sony and others.

    That allows them to not sell to, say stack em high, sell em cheap, but we don't know what the hell we are selling places, etc. which may be beneficial to their brand.

    It's not illegal of course for DigitaRev to sell gopros - but as they are official resellers they aint gonna get proper backup, etc perhaps. Also, I imagine only resellers have rights to use official photos, etc.

    I agree gopro has fecked up the handling of this - on the other hand they wanted it to be clear that digitalrev was not selling something they had official permission to sell.

    rock and a hard place imho.

    stu (biased as I do have 3 gopros..)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sticking up for Gopro a bit

      I think you've completely misunderstood the issue here.

    2. PaulWizard
      Thumb Down

      Re: Sticking up for Gopro a bit

      "and the littlest thing can start to undermine it."

      Like, for example, acting like complete tools and misusing laws that were intended (supposedly) for a different purpose?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the DMCA abuse is a good thing..

    It means that control freak organisaions will never have their products discussed or mentioned outside their own domain, thus removing a great deal of brand awareness and leading to their own self destruction...

    If everyone removes all references to Cra**ple products then surely the brand and the attitude will die? Lets go!

  20. codefu

    Regardless of copyright / trademark laws etc...

    I wholeheartedly agree with the last paragraph

    "By choosing to go the DMCA route, rather than just picking up a telephone and asking DigitalRev nicely, the company may have shot itself in the foot..."

    And I hope most readers do too... otherwise cilvilisation is doomed and terminator lawyers will rule the world.

  21. JeffyPooh

    Based on the TV ads...

    Based on the TV ads, I assume that all GoPro Hero cameras come equipped with built-in techno-beat music. Makes them useless for videoing, for example, a wedding.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Based on the TV ads...

      "Makes them useless for videoing, for example, a wedding."

      How about a funeral?

      1. Fatman

        Re: Based on the TV ads...How about a funeral?


        GoPro's perhaps???

  22. No. Really!?

    Grasping at straw

    When you do something stupid, then make a transparently bogus claim you were trying to do something different yet stupid -

    you go from looking stupid to looking an arse.

    1. DanceMan

      Re: Grasping at straw

      The bullshit excuse, so everpresent among politicians, seems ubiquitous these days. It makes me wonder if there are many examples of the opposite: "We made a bad mistake, and the people responsible have been disciplined."

      Note the word "responsible." You won't hear it much.

  23. bag o' spanners

    The Drift cams are a lot more aerodynamic and water resistent out of the box, not much different in HD quality, and the menu is simple enough for the klutziest non-techie. You can also rotate the lens to offset the angle it's attached at, and it has a sensible 1/4" tripod mounting screw, which gives you access to a huge variety of video mounting kit (dollies, rails, extender bars, flexies etc).. Not sure I'd use a sportscam for anything except sports video, but I'd always consider competing products before buying the dominant brand. I've got a couple of Drifts. An older X170 720p SD quality for cycling, and an HD170 for high speed 1080p. The remote, lcd screen, and aerodynamics made my mind up. Different strokes for different folks, so by all means check out comparisons on biker sites.

    Re the takedown notice, it's a sign that they're getting twitchy about competition squeezing their market, and the effect that more competition will have on their margins.

  24. Winkypop Silver badge

    This comment is protected by DCMA

    Unauthorised replies will be subject to legal proceedings.

    You have been warned.

    1. Gordon 8

      Re: This comment is protected by DCMA

      Worth an upvote and a beer

      1. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: This comment is protected by DCMA

        ....except for replies mentioning upvotes and beer!

        1. sabba

          Re: This comment is protected by DCMA

          I am afraid I have had to downvote your posts, not because I do not find them amusing, but simply as an act of defiance. Viva le revolucione!!

  25. alain williams Silver badge

    GoPro don't respect their customers

    I bought one at the start of Nov for my son; available within 7 days. We got the camera, but they said that a couple of extra items would be a few weeks --- not so great since he was going to Madagascar. A few weeks came & went - we were told early Feb. Feb came & went - so I cancelled. I spoke to them on the 'phone and email, they showed little interest.

    There was a promised andriod app to control it -- does not work properly. The camera itself crashes.

    My son does not recommend them.

  26. JaitcH

    GoPro facing stiff competition these days - for good reason

    I use GoPro daily whenever I drive and as a POV user for around six-years I would say they are, presently, an average product. My employer has a total of eleven units - all mounted in vehicles.

    GoPro is fussy on which SD memory chips you use, uses custom rechargeable batteries (identical to a cell battery) and it FOGS UP even on hot days. They recommend using the vented case, which has large holes in it, but is hardly suitable for expeditions in high-humidity/downpour conditions.

    GoPro, who has never acknowledged/answered my condensation complaint now INCLUDES DESICCANTS for some models to ameliorate the condensation which effectively blocks the video sensor.

    Another deficiency is GoPro's belief in plastic. The camera proper will not work unless it is within the outer plastic casing, in which the lens is mounted/attached. This plastic case has a plastic mount and a plastic foot, the foot SLIDES in to the various mounting options, many of which rely on glue.

    I changed the plastic foot to a stainless one; and I protect all camera locations, including my helmet, in stainless steels cages made from one-eighth round bar (rod). The GoPro supposition that you can use a plastic mount EXTERNAL to the safety cage of a racing car is wishful thinking. Their concept of GLUING a helmet cam to a HELMET is equally stupid as they can easily be twisted off in an accident or by a passing thief on a motorcycle.

    I recommend the people working El Reg's own Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) spacecraft) do some serious preflight testing in a food freezer AND include a secondary POV (the Sony is good - we have road tested them), ADDITIONAL BATTERIES (an extra battery on the camera ALONG with a battery source external to the camera. Remember, camera frame rates interact with the SD memory so test carefully.

    Just because a product has big bucks behind it's advertising and a shiny web site, doesn't make the product good or best in class.

    P.S. This isn't a product review, this is user report.

  27. Amorous Cowherder

    I'm not outraged but have to admit with this behaviour they've certainly slipped down in my estimation.

    With our online 24 hour lives information and opinions move at a frightening pace. One day your the darling in your chosen field, next day you're about as welcome as a Jimmy Saville impersonator at a kiddies party bash!

  28. Crisp

    Gerald Ratner couldn't have done a better job.

    If you don't know who Ratner is, ask your parents.

  29. Buzzby

    GOPRO Screwup

    Is it Ratner or Crapner, I prefer the 2nd. GOPRO has gone. Sore foot, as in shot itself in.

  30. Triggerfish

    Anyone thinking of taking a marketing degree

    or whatever they call it.

    If you walk into university and the first lessons do not involve them holding up examples of this, Ratners, Streisand, Sony, EA etc with big letters saying "Fecking learn".

    Walk out your course is not up to date.

    You'd think if this was your job you'd have a bloody clue.

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